Putting Education Reform To The Test


Stories about students and the initiatives designed to improve performance. Are the many education reforms Florida has adopted having an impact?

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Meet The New SAT

Throw away the old prep guides because the SAT will be changing in 2016.

The new SAT will take a little less time, focus on words students are more likely to encounter and have fewer answers for each multiple choice question, according to a preview from the College Board, to non-profit which oversees the college entrance exam. Changes to the SAT are particularly important in Florida, because the Sunshine [...]

Bandwidth, Computers, Classroom Space All A Challenge In Online Testing

Florida school districts have to upgrade networking and devices for new online testing.

Having enough high-speed Internet and computers are problems as Florida school districts transition to online testing tied to new math and language arts standards. But testing rules have made classroom space and logistics a challenge as well. Pensacola News Journal reporter Michael Scott Davidson outlines some of the issues in Santa Rosa County schools: Wyrosdick [...]

The Florida Tests Which Will Remain After The Switch To Common Standards

The FCAT will mostly disappear from Florida schools next year. But like a zombie, the state's science exam will still carry the FCAT name.

The final bell begins tolling today for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Florida schools are scheduled to complete the switch to new K-12 math and language arts standards based on Common Core this fall. New standards will require a new test. So Florida is switching to math and language arts exams produced by the American [...]

Remembering FCAT, 1995-2014

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is dying, say Florida education officials. By this time next year, the FCAT will be replaced with a new, Common Core-aligned assessment. FCAT was born in 1995 in the humid June of a Tallahassee summer. The Florida Commission on Education Reform and Accountability under Gov. Lawton Chiles gave birth to the test. It was part of [...]

Hillsborough Superintendent Says District Is Ready For Medical Emergencies

Hillsborough County schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia is talking about what happened on a district bus when a child with muscular dystrophy stopped breathing and eventually died in 2012, now that the district has settled its lawsuit with the family. In a column written for the Tampa Bay Times, Elia notes the school district has 85 [...]

Mining Student Data To Keep Kids From Dropping Out

It’s report card day at Miami Carol City Senior High, and sophomore Mack Godbee is reviewing his grades with his mentor, Natasha Santana-Viera. The first quarter on Godbee’s report card is littered with Ds and Fs. This quarter, there are more Cs and Bs. He’s got an A in English. “Congratulations on that,” says Santana-Viera. “When you need help, do you know where [...]

New York Parents Organize Movement Against Common Core Tests

The civil disobedience taking place during New York’s statewide testing season may offer a preview of what’s to come when Florida unveils new Common Core-tied tests next year. This is the second year New York has used a home-grown test to assess its Common Core standards. The protests started last year and seem to be [...]

Why Police Support Common Core Standards In Florida

Florida’s Common Core standards have a new group of supporters: law enforcement. The national anti-crime group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a position paper in favor of Florida’s new standards for English language arts and math. The group argues that assessments and higher standards can prevent crime. Here’s the paper’s summary of the connection: “Florida’s law [...]

Why Computer-Scored Essays Could Eliminate The Need For Writing Tests

Florida’s plans to add computerized grading of its new statewide writing test could eventually eliminate the need for a writing test, advocates for the technology said. Essays on Florida’s new writing test will be scored by a human and a computer, but the computer score will only matter if the score is significantly different from [...]

New Florida Writing Test Will Use Computers To Grade Student Essays

Florida writing tests will be graded by a human and a computer program, according to bid documents for the new test.

A computer program will grade student essays on the writing portion of the standardized test set to replace the FCAT, according to bid documents released by the Florida Department of Education. The essays will be scored by a human and a computer, but the computer score will only matter if the score is significantly different [...]

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